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Brogi of the Month – July, 2013

By Featured, Interviews, Motivation, Students, Teachers One Comment

The Brogi of the Month Award goes out monthly (obviously) in recognition of a person who, through action or word, makes things better for themselves and the people around them. In most instances, recipients will be acknowledged for great achievements in the health/fitness/nutrition – aka Broga – realm, but not always. The common denominator will almost always be an achievement that inspires. All those who receive the award will get a 10-class pass (or something of equivalent value). We love inspiring stories, so please feel free to email us nominations and a story any time.

Our first Brogi of the Month is a guy that has inspired us …a lot. It has been a pleasure getting to know him and having him in our Somerville classes. He was very nervous for his first class, having never done anything “like this” before, but he kept coming back. His name is Mo Jarava and he’s lost nearly 70 lbs as a committed Broga student.

This past week was his 100th Broga class. Congratulations, Mo. We’re proud and honored to have you in this community.

Here’s a brief interview with Mo from a couple weeks back – i.e. just before his 100th class.

 

 

Broga: What do you do?
Mo: I’m a law enforcement officer with the federal government.  High pressure, and high demands.  I’ve been an officer for the past 18 years.  It’s something I’m used to but it doesn’t make it easier.

Broga: Is your job stressful?
Mo: Extremely.

Broga: Tell us a bit about how you found Broga and your expectations when you started.Mo
Mo: After a recent promotion, I began suffering from migraines.  I’ve always had a Type A personality, and migraines were a common occurrence for me but this was something different and much more intense.   After a battery of tests, one of which landed me in the ER, I was told “You need to relax”.   The last thing someone who is stressed needs to hear is “just relax”.   I ended up in therapy having electrical current run through my muscles to get me to unwind.  That’s when I knew I had to do something.   I saw an ad for Broga and started reading up on it.

I went on to the site and read about the course, the instructors, and the basic Broga mission statement.   I had my hesitations but decided to give it a try.

I wrote Adam and Robert an email and explained a little of my situation.   I was overweight, inflexible, and hadn’t done any fitness regime since years.  What I did have was the desire to improve, to find a balance in my life and find a way to calm my mind.  I wanted to participate but didn’t know if I could keep up and I didn’t want to hold the class back.   Adam wrote me back and told me Broga was the class for me.

Broga: How would you describe your level of fitness now compared to when you started Broga?
Mo: I’ve been practicing for over a year now.  I can totally see an improvement in my fitness level.  I think back to the third Broga class I took.  I almost gave up after that night.  My first two classes were tough but I was able to keep up.  That third class was intense.  I remember the thought “what fresh sadistic hell is this?!” going through my mind throughout the class.   I decided right then and there to give up.  I wasn’t ready for this level of intensity and this was just a beginner course.  After class, I was gearing up to go home; feeling defeated and like a failure.  Some of the other students in the class were milling about we began talking.  These were guys that were very fit and they were commenting on how the class had kicked their ass.   Ok.. so if the class was tough even for them, maybe it wasn’t just me.  I decided to come back the following week.   I remember Robert telling us we had already taken the first step, we showed up, we were there.  That meant a lot to me because I came so close to not going back.   The classes were still tough, and I still had my days where I dreaded hearing the words “forearm plank”.  But I kept with it.

Throughout the past year I’ve experienced a series of mini achievements.  I slowly starting to do some of the stuff I previously felt was impossible and improbable.  Poses that I once thought I’d never get into unless there was an intricate systems of pulleys and levers involved, now became a routine part of my practice.

Broga: Looking ahead over the next few years, what are your health and fitness goals?
Mo: Now that I know I have it in me to dedicate time to my health and fitness, I’ve taken more of a proactive approach to my well-being.  I’ve changed my diet, eating habits and behavior.   I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight and am on the way to getting to a healthy weight and fitness level.  Once there, I hope to be able to maintain and keep improving.  I’m looking at expanding my exercise routine to include some gym time.  I’m attending Broga three times a week and am looking for something in between the class days.  I’m keeping tabs on the number of classes I attend, when I get to class 100, I am going to try my hand at the Broga 2 class.

Broga: How awesome was it when you were able to do Crow pose for the first time?
Mo: The first time Robert had us do Crow pose in class I actually laughed out loud and shook my head.  There was no way I was going to get my body to do that.  Robert looked at me and said “No?  Not happening?  It’s ok, you’ll get there.”  He taught me a modified version that would help me to eventually get there.  As the classes went on, that pose became a goal.  I would eventually do it.  Around class number 50 I was finally able to do Crow.  It wasn’t perfect, I only stayed up for a few breaths, but I did it.  It was amazing.  Something that had been so far off had finally come within reach.

Broga: What’s your favorite yoga pose?
Mo: I can’t say I have one favorite.  I like the balance poses like tree, warrior three, and side plank.  Humble warrior is awesome!  Every once in a while a new leg stretch or back stretch gets thrown into the mix and I just want to scream out thaaaaaaaaaaaaank you!!

Broga: What’s your least favorite yoga pose?
Mo: Still not a fan of forearm plank but I am able to do it now and stay up.  We just added a mountain climber exercise that is a bit vicious but I can definitely feel the impact and benefit.

Broga: What do you like most about Broga class?
Mo: In no particular order…

  1. You can go at your pace.  There is no race or competition.
  2. The instructors tailor the poses to your current level.  Be it adding a strap, changing the pose or other modifications, they teach you how to get the most out of each pose and flow at your own level.
  3. The music.  I’ve added a few of the songs to my playlists and have found I start subconsciously breathing deep and calming down when I hear them.
  4. It has become the highlight of my week where I can turn off everything else going on and just focus on my breath and the poses.
  5. Effort and Ease.   It’s become a mantra not only throughout class but in my daily world as well.

Broga: What do you like least about Broga class?
Mo: There isn’t anything I don’t like.  As the word is getting out and more people are discovering Broga, the classes are starting to fill up.   I have to make sure to get there early to get my spot in the back corner.  I’m very much a creature of habit and can be a little OCD.  I have my focal points for my drishti.

Broga: What would you tell someone who is unsure about trying Broga?
Mo: They need to give it a shot.  If they are looking for a way to better their health and improve their life, try it out.  They should talk to others in the class, I know I’m not the only one who has benefited from Broga.  They can come talk to me about it too,  I’m the one in the back corner.

Broga: If someone gave you $1 million dollars to help people get/stay in better health, what would you do with the money?
Mo: I think it comes down to education.  Educating people on how to make proper choices, and take care of themselves.  Helping them find whatever works for them.

Thanks for the inspiration, Mo! With your success, the words “Mo-tivation” and “Mo-bility” are taking on new meaning in the Broga world.

If you have any thoughts or questions about what it takes to make big, sustained changes in your life, please share them in the comments section below.

Feelin’ the Burn? How to Relieve Muscle Soreness After Broga

By Classes, How To, Students One Comment

Feelin’ the Burn?

It’s totally common to feel a bit worse for the wear the morning after your first Broga class. Introducing any new exercise to your fitness routine, or lack there of, stresses and strains your muscles in new ways, causing actual cell damage that takes time to heal.  It’s this damage, and the inflammatory-repair response that it triggers, that cause stiffness and soreness for typically 24 to 72 hours after a workout. It’s so common it even has a name: Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness – or DOMS. So you’re sore, and now you know why…what do you do about it?

Broga

Back-to-Back Broga:

Don’t be discouraged! In fact, get off the couch, stretch out, and go for a walk, or better yet, take another Broga class ASAP! I know this seems counter-intuitive, but it really works! One of the fastest ways to silence achy muscles is to stretch them out, and get them moving again. You may feel like you lack some range of motion due to muscle tightness, so don’t over do it. Let your instructor know that you are feeling a bit sore so he can let you in on any modifications that may be a bit lower-impact.

Refuel:

After Broga SmoothieYour muscles need fuel for repairs. A post-workout snack may help provide your muscles with the necessary tools to begin repairs quickly, resulting in less soreness the next day. It’s pretty common knowledge that protein is essential to muscle building, but you won’t return to pain free movement if you neglect other key macronutrients. Carbohydrate rich foods help the body restore muscle glycogen (stored energy your muscles need to function) quickly and fat is essential for cell repair. An ideal post-workout snack should be mostly carbs, some protein, and a little fat. Oh, and don’t forget to drink lots of water!

Chocolate milk has been touted as the ultimate post workout snack because it loosely meets the guidelines above. But before you grab the Hershey’s syrup, ask yourself, do you really think there is a nutritional benefit to chocolate syrup?   Make each part of your snack count by smartly selecting carbohydrate, protein and fat sources that are all beneficial to your body. Many super foods have anti-inflammatory properties, and work essentially the same way that NSAID pain relievers (like ibuprofen and aspirin) do. Try to work them into your snack routine.

So, what’s the ideal snack for post-Broga muscle repair? Try low-fat yogurt with fresh (or dried) blueberries, or cherries, with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. If you like the idea of a beverage better, add some ice, or better yet use frozen fruit, and turn this combo into a smoothie. Feelin’ better already?

Interested in learning more about the nuts and bolts of muscle response to exercise? Check out this article from Scientific American.

What do you think? Do you have a post-workout favorite food? Maybe a smoothie recipe you’d be willing to share? Share your input in the comment section below!

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jen JasminJennifer Jasmin is a nutritionist and freelance writer living in Watertown, Massachusetts.  She holds a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College, and a Graduate Certificate in Dietetics from Simmons College.  In her work, Jen strives to help people find balance between real nutrition facts, and realistic health and fitness goals.   Her background also includes over 15 years working in the food service industry, which adds to her unique perspective on eating well.  She shares her insights, personal cooking lessons, and recipe ideas on her blog at: www.skeletonsinmykitchen.com.  In addition to writing, Jen shares her passion about healthy eating in casual, approachable nutrition seminars and workshops in both corporate and community settings.  To Jen, the journey to wellness is incredibly personal, and should be approached in a way that is individual, actionable and unpretentious.

Broga & Movember

Men’s Health Awareness Month: Broga Donating to Prostate Cancer Research

By Events, News No Comments

Here’s the deal: You commit to your health & we’ll commit to donating

In honor of your commitment to your health and Men’s Health Awareness Month (November), Broga is donating funds go the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).

  • Option 1 – Come to 3 Broga classes this month (yes, we know there are only a few weeks left) and we’ll donate 50% of your class payments to PCF and list your name (if you want) on a special page on our website acknowledging you as a contributor.
  • Option 2 – Come to any Broga class with a mustache (men only, please) – you know, for ‘Movember’ – we’ll donate that class payment to PCF.
  • Option 3 – Buy a T-shirt this month, we’ll donate 100% of the proceeds (after our T-shirt production costs) to PCF.

As you’d probably expect, men’s health is a major concern of ours. Through Broga, we are offering men a powerful opportunity to take charge of their personal well-being as they both improve their current quality of life and, hopefully, stave off the many ailments that afflict the sedentary at much higher rates than the active.

Exercise is good for you, but unfortunately, we live with the reality that no matter what we do, bad things can happen to, and in, our bodies. Prostate cancer is one of them. So this month, we’re going to make a contribution to the world-class research being conducted by the PCF.

We hope to make a sizable donation at the end of the month. Lets do this – because we can!

Broga Featured in Martha’s Vineyard Magazine

By News No Comments

Earlier this week, the September issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine came out with an extended special section featuring Broga.

We just want to thank Justin Ahren, Jocelyn Filley, and the MV Magazine crew.

Justin, great writing – anything that mentions Fight Club and Charles Bukowski in the same article would generally be awesome in my book, but that they were both mentioned in regards to Broga… well, it’s an honor.

Jocelyn, the photos were/are great. You really captured the essence of Broga – no small feat for a foggy day like the one we had for the shoot.

Thanks again!

Broga photo from "Only a Game"

Broga on NPR’s “Only A Game”

By News No Comments

We’re very excited to announce that this coming Saturday, August 20th, Broga will be featured on NPR’s “Only A Game.”

We were visited by “Only a Game” Producer Doug Tribou two weeks ago in Somerville, so we’re anxious to hear the feature. If you can, tune into your local NPR station this Saturday and let us know you heard it.

Here is a listing of NPR member stations and the “Only A Game” timeslot nationally.

See you on air!

1st Broga Class: What to Expect

By Classes, Featured 3 Comments

We’ve had a few people asking us what they should expect at their first Broga class. I thought I’d address this question in a quick post.

For those unfamiliar with yoga or group fitness classes, the idea of working out with a group of strangers can be intimidating. But honestly, it’s only awkward in your head. Once you get in the room, on the mat, the music starts playing, and the Broga moves start flowin’, you’ll be fine. Broga is all about making your yoga experience comfortable. It’s our specialty.

Here’s a few bits on what you can expect when you jump in to your first class…

What to expect:
-The class will be in a medium-sized room with open floors and plenty of space.
-When you arrive, you’ll be asked to sign a waiver and a sign-in sheet (so we can keep track of your classes and add you to the newsletter if you want some newsletter action).
-As you know, Broga is designed specifically for men, but women often attend and many women have become broga regulars.

What to bring:
-mats are available, but bring your own if you have one
-wear comfortable clothes that you’d work out in
-wear light clothes – you’ll probably work up a sweat
-wear a headband if you’re into that kind of thing (Adam is)

Before the class starts:
-let the instructor know if you have any injuries, limitations, or health concerns

When the class starts:
-listen and have fun!

If you have any questions or concerns please give us a call or submit a note on the contact us page.

Broga Sandstand

Broga for Father’s Day

By Events, Featured No Comments

Broga is for Dads!

This Father’s Day, give your Dad (or a Dad you know) a meaningful, lasting, and important gift – the gift of health!

A Broga Dad

For you, it will cost nothing. For Dad, it’ll be worth a lot.

To claim 5 free classes for Dads, do the following by 10pm on Sunday, June 19th, 2011:

1.) Twitter: Tweet “Giving Dad [or man’s name] free broga classes for Father’s Day! #brogafordad https://brogayoga.com”
OR
1.) Facebook: Post on your Facebook wall “Giving Dad [or man’s name] free broga classes for Father’s Day! https://brogayoga.com”

THEN

2.) Email adam@brogayoga.com with the subject “brogafordad”, a link to your post, and your Dad’s name.

We’ll email you a customized, printable voucher. Or if you prefer, we’ll snail mail a hard copy to you or your Dad. (Provide mailing address. Must be received by end of the day, Tuesday, June 14th to reach recipient in time).

Healthy men are happier, stronger, feel better about themselves, and most importantly, they live longer! Tell your Dad you love him by telling him you want him to live a long life! If that doesn’t fit, just tell him that a little broga will improve his golf swing, strengthen his aching back, tighten his core, and give him a ripped chest.

One more thing: So he doesn’t have to venture alone into the new world of broga, your Dad will be encouraged to bring a free guest with him to each of his free classes! If you secretly want to check out broga yourself, just know that your altruism will be rewarded.

One other thing: Know more than one Dad? There is no limit to how many 5-class vouchers you can claim. Go nuts with the posts and we’ll go nuts with vouchers for you!

Broga Partners with the City of Somerville, MA

By Featured, News No Comments

Broga, in partnership with Somerville’s Mayor Joseph Curtatone and his “Mayor’s Fitness Challenge,” is very excited to announce the launch of a new class serving the greater Boston area. Beginning on April 23, 2011 Broga will be taught each Saturday at 10am at the Somerville Armory.

The successful Shape Up Somerville Initiative and the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge, now both going into their second year, were designed to encourage residents and city workers to take charge of their personal health and well-being through organized events and incentive programs.

In honor and support of this program, Broga will be offering anyone involved in the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge free classes through the month of May.

Any other first-time attendees will be granted one complimentary pass. After that, all classes will be donation-based, with a $10 recommended donation.

Classes will be taught at the Shanti at the Armory studio on the first floor of the Armory. For schedule information and a map, see the schedule page.

For more information on Broga, check out the home page or contact us via form, email or phone through the contact page.

Your move. Your life. Get ‘real. fit.’

See you there!